Developing Machinery to Harvest Small Diameter Woody Biomass Transforming a Fire Hazard into an Energy Crisis Solution

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Title: Developing Machinery to Harvest Small Diameter Woody Biomass Transforming a Fire Hazard into an Energy Crisis Solution
Author: Hannum, Lindsay Cloud
Advisors: Dr. Jeffrey Ray Thompson, Committee Member
Dr. Glenn P Catts, Committee Co-Chair
Dr. Joseph P Roise, Committee Co-Chair
Abstract: Energy demands continue to increase despite depleting fossil fuels and growing awareness of global climate changes. Biomass energy will play a vital role as the demand increases for renewable energy. North Carolina State University, the U S Forest Service, FECON, and Craven Wood Energy have partnered to develop the “Kraken†FECON’s Bio- Harvester; a mulcher which cuts, chips, and collects Small Diameter Woody Biomass. This machine removes hazardous biomass fuel loads from the forest and supplies a new source of material to produce carbon neutral wood energy. Unlike agricultural biomass harvesting, the Kraken must harvest natural vegetation diverse in size and composition. Available biomass at each site must be quantified as it varies greatly with species, densities, and age. As we work to develop this piece of equipment efficiently collecting and transporting biomass in the field is our greatest challenge. The testing of the machine did not yield an economically viable system, however it does not subtract from the potential for the equipment especially when fire reduction and habitat restoration are factored into the products. With research and development these machine systems will be improved enabling small diameter woody biomass to become a competitive energy resource.
Date: 2009-08-07
Degree: MS
Discipline: Forestry
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/930


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